The barrier to travel independently by public transport or bicycle is often high for pupils in special education. That is why they use student transport. The Voor Elkaar Pass has been introduced for students who still want to make the switch to public transport.
This is one of the solutions within the self-reliance trajectory that Forseti offers. In this case, it concerns a collaboration with Arriva and the municipality of Dongen. The Voor Elkaar Pas is an OV chip card for students who are entitled to compensation from the municipality for transport, and who want to (learn to) travel independently. The municipality pays for the pass with a bus subscription for an agreed region.
With the Voor Elkaar Pass, a student is no longer dependent on the fixed times of the taxi. In addition, according to Forseti, the pass could remove a barrier to using public transport, because there is always a balance. The pass therefore never needs to be charged and the child only has to check in and out. Because it can be nice for parents to travel with them in the initial phase, there is a companion pass for them for as long as this is necessary.
Adjust student transport allocation to public transport facility Depending on the municipality, there are possibilities to use the Voor Elkaar Pass also on weekends and holidays. This gives the child room to practice traveling independently. During the school year, there are several evaluations of how the travel is going. It will then be examined whether the existing allocation can be partially or completely adapted to a public transport facility.
A pilot for the pass is currently underway in the municipality of Dongen. 25 percent of the selected children participate voluntarily. In the school year 2020/2020 is a pilot with nineteen students has already been conducted. However, this pilot had to be stopped early due to the corona crisis. In the end, two students from this group started traveling completely independently. One student is partially out of adapted transport and travels independently in the afternoon by public transport.
Growth in both parents and children Erika Damen, target group transport consultant at Forseti, emphasizes that student transport will always be arranged by their mobility agency, but that every student who can learn to travel independently is seen as an extra benefit. According to her, the self-reliance program is not only about independence and independence, but is also a significant personal development. “The child learns to experience success itself and may be able to look further afield. You also see that self-confidence grows and that students become part of society like other children. The parents also experience a development during this process. They often find it anxious to start, to let go of their child. But you also see them grow during this process.”
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